We will take the easy way out today and present reason #6 by referring the reader to Professor Reisman`s work, and then direct the reader to an earlier article published on Bawerk.net for reason #7.
The reason is simply because we have been swamped with work on an article that will present the unsustainable path Japan is on. Hopefully it will be available to Bawerk.net readers very soon. We have been digging through tons of data with very good results. It will be both interesting and educational, so stay tuned.
Reason number six: when socialism failed so utterly in the early 1990s, our parents refused to accept what they saw and tried instead to implement their plans through “environmentalism”
Thinly veiled in today`s intelligentsia is a hatred for capitalism. They see it as anarchy where the strongest win in a zero-sum game. One man`s gain is another man`s loss. Any voluntarily exchange must by definition contain an element of exploitation. As late as 1989 one of the greatest Keynesians in our parents time, Paul Samuelson claimed that “The Soviet economy is proof that, contrary to what many skeptics had earlier believed, [Article author: Ludwig von Mises and the problem of rational calculation] a socialist command economy can function and thrive” Yes, you read that correctly: 1989!
Needless to say, the complete collapse of the soviet empire came as a massive shock to our parents. Their long held belief that the command economy of the east was superior and something to strive for proved utterly wrong. Only the most honest and decent of them would admit defeat in the midst of corpus socialismus. The rest ventured on to environmentalism. It is no coincidence that environmentalism sprung up in the aftermath of collapsing command economies.
Even the most ardent socialist had to accept that free markets delivered prosperity to the masses, but only by ravaging the planet and consuming earth’s resources at an unsustainable rate.
In order to properly refute their claims, I urge the reader to see George Riesman’s article “Environmentalism Refuted” (click here for article). For our purpose, it suffices to say environmentalism will provide another hindrance for our generation to fulfill our potential. By reducing use of energy, economic growth is destined to slow down. We are therefore supposed to reduce our living standards, because our parents found it convenient to, at least according to their own claims, consume natural resources at an unsustainable rate. Now they feel bad, and they have no qualms in brainwashing today`s youth to feel guilty simply for existing.
Again, we are the ones assumed to take on the burden of our parents!
Reason number seven: through debt they taxed away your productivity
On this we will simply refer our readers to one of our earlier articles which sum this up neatly: The Importance of Efficient Capital Allocation (http://www.bawerk.net/#post6)
By now it should be clear that the path given to us by our parents is not sustainable and will not bring us what we are looking for. Maybe the lifestyle enjoyed by our parents will be inaccessible to us, but that is entirely up to the choices we make as a generation. Yes, it will be a hard to fix the mess left behind by todays retiring generation, but the sooner we make the right choices the easier it will be.
It seems appropriate to end this series by paraphrasing Karl Marx himself; “youth of the world, unite AGAINST the status quo”